August 7th, 2006

krazy koati

If the band slows down we'll yell for more

I don't mind people who want to dress all goth. It's not my sort of wear -- the extreme limits of my taste in outfits include shirts with two colors in them -- but if people like it, more power to them. But something was getting young Singaporeans out downtown in their goth and/or rave gear, and I trust they were having a good time dressed in black on the equator getting a Sprite Ice from the 7-Eleven. When I ran in to one young woman dressed like Felicia in Ozy and Millie I was forced yet again to consider that whole ``brain in a box running weird reality simulation'' hypothesis. I also was forced to try not giggling in front of her.

But that as most things will passed, and I wandered up Orchard Road, to find a musical performance outside the Paragon Plaza mall. Said the sign: ``Blossoming Tunes of Singapore's 41st Birthday -- Hear the Paragon Symphony this National Day. Harmonious tunes of patriotism orchestrated by local schoolbands. Come join us, we'll be music to your ears.'' On the (wide) sidewalks normal Singaporeans opened up a wide semicircle in front of the performers, and a couple of goth-dressed people were chatting.

The band started a new, patriotic number, by which I and they mean Bill Haley and the Comets' famous1 ``Rock Around The Clock'', which was just as rocking on a classical orchestra in the midsummer afternoon as you might figure. Even the goth-dressed folks got into it, doing their own impromptu versions of the Twist. At this point I concluded I had better leave before the really strange thing could happen.

1 Yes, I know they didn't write it, and they weren't the first band to perform it. Nevertheless, they were the ones to make it famous, something people would be playing fifty years later. But if you wanted to attribute it to someone else, people would think you were either being a hyper-corrective nitwit or else couldn't keep straight who recorded ``Rock Around The Clock.'' The only cure is writing disclaimers.

Trivia: In 1950, four-fifths of all buses produced in the United States were school buses. Source: Engineering in History, Richard Shelton Kirby, Sidney Withington, Arthur Burr Darling, Frederick Gridley Kilgour.

Currently Reading: War for the Union, 1863-1864: The Organized War, Allan Nevins.